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A peaceful rally held to voice out against sexual harassment has been violently dispersed by the Police. The rally held tonight near the western waterfront (Rasfannu Area) was attended by youths who stood on the side of the road with placards calling to end sexual harassment in the Maldivian work culture and society.

According to bystanders, Police arrived and authorized the use of violent force to disperse rally goers. Pepper spray was deployed while male officers were seen charging and arresting female rally goers who were at that point forced to lying on the asphalt.

Peaceful rally held to voice against sexual harassment.

Several people were arrested including Nuha Adam Manik who had played a key role in advocating justice against the victims of sexual harassment from former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed who fled the country after being charged with 7 counts of criminal offence. She was later seen lying on the asphalt with her hands cuffed behind her back.

Pepper spray was indiscriminately used against rally goers.

Several media personnel also reported that the police had obstructed their duty to report while using force and crude language towards media personnel. Local Avas news Photographer Ashadh stated that police commanders used crude and explicit language before attacking him.

The use of excessive force by the Police has become a common complaint from rally goers and media personnel under Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed. Commissioner Mohamed Hameed who is the Brother-in-Law of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been largely reclusive from the media. Allegations of the institution being politicized and new recruits being poorly trained in de-escalating situations have been made against the Police.

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